LL GP9RM Decoder Installation

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Agatheron, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Just recently Life Like Canada has released a set of limited edition GP9 "Chop Noses" for both Canadian Pacific (GP9u) and Canadian National (GP9RM). They're part of their proto 2000 series. They look great, I've even seen a few of these up close. However, I've heard that Life Like are notoriously DCC unfriendly.

    If I were to install a decoder into one of these limited edition locomotives, what would be required, and which decoder should I use to allow for the best fit?

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't know about the gp9s, but one member of the modular club I belong to installed t1 receivers in a pair of E7s and everything worked including the mars lights.
  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Looking at their site, I see some diesels listed as DCC ready, some not. If it's not DCC ready, I would think that would just mean you have to solder. I don't see how a particular loco would be DCC resistant. Perhaps there's not much room for a decoder, though. Didn't see the GP9's you describe on the US or Canda site :curse: P2Ks are wonderful locos, but I can't say the same for their web sites.

    Keep in mind, this comes from someone whoe's not done any DCC. Maybe a call or e-mail to LL would get the answers you need.
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I'm not familiar with the new chop nosed GP9, but I've installed in the GP7. Tony's has a plug in board replacement for those, I didn't use them tho. They would be the easiest, and I'm sure he can tell you if they work with this new model. I just remove the existing board and solder in the low cost decoders, I used Digitrax DH121 at the time, I had no problem whatsoever. Had to push the shell down quite firmly to get the couplers back on. A smaller decoder would eliminate that minor problem. If you're not familiar with Tony's, he is at: www.ttx-dcc.com
  5. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    The Locomotives I am talking about are limited edition releases in only two roadnames: Canadian Pacific and Canadian National. There's pictures of some CN ones over in the "Real Thing: Canada" forum under "CN London Pics." They're made by Life Like Canada... apparently only 216 of each road number are going to be made. Which I suppose isn't as dire as it might seem. At least for CN, there are 3 different paint schemes, each with two different road numbers... plus undecorated versions for both CN and CP. Doing the math, it's still not a lot... but I plan on having at least one of these on my layout.

    I was looking at using a Z-scale decoder from Digitrax in these ones if there's no other information on how to upgrade them included in the specs and instructions included with the locomotive.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The only problem with using a z scale decoder is that it might not handle the amperage of an ho motor. I would think that lifelike Canada is starting with the P2k gp9 and putting a new body on it, or it may be a new cab and short hood with the standard long hood. In that case I would expect the model to come out dcc ready.
  7. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Ooops... I forgot that these Life Like GP9RM's are N-Scale, not HO scale... which creates more of a space issue...
  8. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

  9. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Thanks for the advice, I've sent an email off to the technical support people at Digitrax, and we'll see how they respond...

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